Showing posts from July, 2010

For Beginning Art Teachers

This question recently came up on the listserve I belong to:
What art the top ten things beginning art teachers need to know and be able to do?

Here is my reply:

1. Teach less so they learn more. A professor said this to me years ago and it stuck. Teach the basics and let them explore.

2. Make friends with the custodian and secretaries. Everyone knows they run the building! My custodian saves items for me, checks the kiln, and does a great job keeping the room clean.

3. Set the standards for your classroom from the beginning. I had several teachers approach me and ask that I create the decorations for each holiday to hang outside their doors. I made it clear (very nicely!) that I teach "art", not "cut and paste" class. I haven't been asked again and I have the respect of my peers.

4. Advocate for your classroom! Attach a summary of the project you have done to the back so parents will understand the hows and whys of the artwork. Send home newsletters explaining what …

MUST HAVE Story Books For The Elementary Art Room

The following are some of my favorite story books to use with my elementary classes. As a bonus, many of these books are A.R. (Accelerated Reader) books, so the kids can earn points for listening to them. I have given a short summary of each book, as well as any links that may be relevant to them. (Clicking on the titles takes you to an external link)

Dinner At Magritte's
by Michael Garland This book is currently out of print, but still available on Amazon. It is well worth the hunt to find it. The story tells of a little boy who is invited to dine with artist Rene' Magritte and Salvador Dali. The illustrations include several references to both artist's work and are very whimsical. This is a great indroduction to Surrealism for young children.

The Story Painter
by John Duggleby The paintings of Jacob Lawrence serve as a backdrop to this story which introduces the acclaimed artist.

The following two book are by author Peter H. Reynolds.
Video of Peter Reynolds speaking about his …